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Habermas vs the Pope

The darling of the 68ers and Benedict XVI find a surprising amount to agree on

By Edward Skidelsky   November 2005

Left-wing German philosopher Jürgen Habermas treats religion with respect (photo: Wolfram Huke)

On 19th January last year, two old men came to the Catholic Academy of Bavaria to debate the imposing-looking topic: “Pre-political moral foundations of the liberal state.” Both are German; both grew up under the third reich; both went on to achieve distinction in their respective fields. But here the resemblance ends. Jürgen Habermas is a leftist philosopher and advocate of “democratically enlightened common sense.” His championship of untrammelled debate as the foundation of political legitimacy has inspired…

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